In my earlier days of ministry a boy used to visit me for a Bible story, glass of water, and quality time with my cat Winston (who he called whiskers).
If the cat wasn’t there he would always ask “where is whiskers?”
Part of me believed that innocence would continue forever….
But it ended far too soon
Over time I learned that when the teenage years became (say around the age of twelve) they would no longer be interested in Bible stories. Seemingly overnight they would stop coming by me.
The young man who loved my cat within a few years fell into fits of anger and became one of the most rebellious children you could find!
This loss of innocence years happens everywhere. But it is especially strong in St. Vincent since most of the families in my community are single-parent families.
I have a great amount of respect for single parent families….
But also know this isn’t the way God intended
Far too often in Barrouallie the father isn’t present. So the mother does the best she can, but many children (especially boys) rebel after coming to a certain age because dad was not there to bring structure or discipline in earlier years.
A father who provides protection, and provision along with a mother who cares for the home as well as children is the way God intended for the home to be.
What really frightens me is because fathers or mothers aren’t present, the age of innocence is beginning to pass much more quickly
During Church Sunday I heard a lady who lived nearby calling for the six-year old boy she cared for to stop doing something. Her voice suddenly stopped, and after the service I found out he had started throwing very large stones at the woman (she cares for him, but isn’t his mother).
Later I checked on her and found one of the stones stuck into the wall of her house that was built with boards. She had also been hit by one in the shoulder, which brought lots of pain. When he began throwing stones, she was forced to run into thee house.
Keep in mind this child is six!!!
Situations like this remind me that the age of innocence no longer ends around 12. For some it can end as soon as 5! So the opportunities of those early years to fill their hearts and minds with the Word of God must be used.
The child who takes great joy in petting your cat will soon be violently angry
So be faithful in telling them about Jesus while you can